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April 24th, 2012
04:51 PM ET

Five things we learned from Joel Osteen's visit

By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Gilgoff, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN) - Joel Osteen, the pastor of America’s largest church, swung by the offices of CNN's Belief Blog on Tuesday. He’s in town for a "Night of Hope" event at Nationals Park baseball stadium this weekend, which is expected to draw thousands of worshipers who wouldn't otherwise step foot in a church.

Before taking batting practice with the Washington Nationals and delivering the opening prayer in Congress, Osteen sat down for a freewheeling interview with us. Five things we learned from his visit:

1. Osteen's optimism is unflappable

No matter how negative the outlook may be regarding religion, the economy or politics, Osteen sees the good.

Churches in America may be bleeding members but, Osteen’s own church – and those of his megapastor friends – are growing. "Sometimes what works 40 years ago doesn’t work today," he said, explaining how he built a church with 40,000 regular attendees in Houston, Texas.

"The denominations aren't as big of a deal so they may not look for a church that just says the First Church for Baptists or Methodists or Catholics,” he said. “They look for place where people are believers of a like minded faith. And so I see those types of churches growing and that's the type of church our is."

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

Osteen has grown his church from a congregation of 7,000 since taking over for his dad in 1999.

“I’m biased,” when it comes to Christianity’s growth prospects,” Osteen said. “You know we’re coming from a stadium here and I’m thinking how’s this young guy from DC going to have 50,000 people - whatever that stadium holds - and I see it everywhere we go it seems like more than ever we see people hungry for their faith.

2. He hates weighing in on politics but will– sometimes

Osteen said he thinks politics "divides people" but was careful to add that "some pastors are very much called to be in politics like I’m called not to, so I like to celebrate what they’re doing."

The issue of religious liberty has been a hot one recently, especially over a pending White House mandate that free birth control be offered to employees at certain religious institutions. While many conservative pastors called the mandate a threat to religious liberty, Osteen said that it’s "not my personality to call something a threat but I would agree with what their argument, the basis of it, that we don’t want government telling us what we can, something that goes against our faith."

He added that he stands with Catholics and other Christians who opposed the government mandate, though it’s not completely clear if he’s satisfied by a White House adjustment to the rule that mollified some Catholics, if not the Catholic Church.

"I would hate to think of the day," Osteen said, "where someone would come and tell me you have to minister on this and it goes against what the scripture says."

3. Osteen sees Mormons as fellow Christians

"When I hear Mitt Romney say that he believes that Jesus is the Son of God, that he's the Christ, raised from the dead, that he's his savior - that's good enough for me," Osteen said in an interview that aired on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."

While Osteen said Mormonism is "not traditional Christianity," he believes Mormons fall under the Christian tent.

"Mormonism is a little different, but I still see them as brothers in Christ," the pastor argued. That goes a big step further than many other Christian leaders, who have not gone so far to say that Romney is unquestionably Christian.

Osteen also told Blitzer that he believes President Barack Obama is a committed Christian. Some conservative Christian leaders have questioned the president’s religion.

4. The point of Osteen’s TV broadcast is inspiring people and getting them to church

Osteen is often criticized for preaching a watered-down version of Christianity that is light on sin and heavy on feeling good. He said the goal of his TV ministry, which reaches 10 million Americans a week and costs about $20 million dollars a year, is to help get people into churches.

"I’m trying to throw a big broad net to try to get people interested in God and believe that he’s for them and has a purpose,” he said. “Maybe someone that would never be interested before but then at the end of each broadcast I encourage them to get in a good Bible-based church so you can grow.”

"I see our ministry as an extension of the church, the local church,” he said. “I realize in a 30-minute broadcast you can’t do all that. I’m trying to be really broad."
Osteen added that the TV broadcast partners with 500 local churches to help transition people from TV to church.

5. Serving communion to 40,000 people is tricky

Answering a question from an @CNNBelief Twitter follower, Osteen said Lakewood Church celebrates communion once a month, even though TV viewers don’t see it.
"There’s pros and cons of a big church,” he said. “Cons is I don’t get to know everybody, I don’t get to go to their ballgame, I don’t get to marry everybody, but the pros are you get all this community, 800 ushers come in to serve, getting there at 7 in the morning on their day off and coming in on Saturday to make all those wafers.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (1,154 Responses)
  1. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    Is it not written in the "holy" bible that we should "rightly divide the word of truth" which I see as being the bible this word of truth? Rightly dividing this word of truth does mean some things in it are not truthful while other things are truth! Choosing the truth in this book, the bible seems to be a challenge of all so many self-professed prophets and we know them by their fruits of richness do we not? So much for them getting into heaven if it is truthful that a camel has abetter chance to enter into heaven than rich people do have! Upon the backs of the hordes do the rich clamour and they will not reach their goals!

    April 26, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  2. Plain Ol' Dreamer

    You need sensability to be a fundament of principalities? How about Fractal Cosmology becoming a principled sensibility wherein the inside of living things is an exacting reflection of the outward dimension of spatial relatives? Could any and I do mean any Life-Form have cellular structures mimicking the heavenly structures we call stellar nebulas? Could our inside relatives really be where the Kingdom of God exists? Are we not perceived as an embodiment known as God's buildings? God does build with miniaturized cellular universes to create all formations of Life as we know it!

    http://www3.amherst.edu/~rloldershaw/stars2/menu.html this site deals with self-similarities between stars and atoms!

    April 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  3. Mike

    God bless you Pastor Joel, you heard the church called winners chapel international, the main church is found in Ota Nigeria, and the church auditorium is the biggest in the world a capacity of 50,000 and only a Sunday's service about 200,000 people gather in the church and once in a month on Sundays take holy communion for all 200,000 people.

    April 26, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
  4. Scot

    I went to the largest church in the city that i grew up in. This church had radio broadcasts and missionaries all over the world due to the minister that was presiding. He lived in a modest two bedroom home and raise two boys in it for the 40 years that he was ministering. These guys that have thses huge churches with the huge mansions and expensive cars are an embarresment to the christain religion !

    April 26, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  5. Un Important

    Joel Osteen is a limped d i c k e d, wanna be, poser chrisitian. He was asked point blank on tv if Jesus was the only way into heaven and he basically said that there are many ways and many religions that will get you into heaven. Well if that's what you believe Joel ol' boy have fun burnin' in hell!

    April 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • californiarestinpeace

      It seems bizarre and completely implausible to me that there would exist a lake of flames with a little red man who sports a tail and horns guarding the gate; where people would 'go' to burn forever. Ever thought about the logistics of all this? Magic, oh I see.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • John Calvin

      like

      May 1, 2012 at 1:51 am |
  6. Nii

    LINCA
    I hope u know clearly that de only believer u as an atheist can convince is a Fundie Literalist cos he's basically like u. 4 me I've much better insight in2 de Bible than u. I don't see y I shud swap ur misunderstanding 4 mine. I value wisdom n responsibility. U seem 2 value intellect n rights

    April 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Huebert

      Good god!!! do you have to try to write that poorly or does it just come naturally to you?

      April 26, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Mkay

      You forgot to give me my fortune cookie.

      April 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  7. Reality

    “John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today
    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. “ J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to randomness of birth. Maybe, just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions to include Osteen's form of Christianity.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"“John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident (the randomness) of birth. "

      So I take it that since you are not Religious do you feel that the ones born to Atheist parents are also a accident of whom they were born too?

      April 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      That was a clever question Mark, however the point of the god-culture observation is that someone can thoroughly believe in a god in one region or culture, and be completely convinced of the existence of a different god in a different culture, which begs the question, who is right?

      When you believe only in that which has been proven to exist, your geographical location isn't a factor. I suppose it would be if in one culture, all children were taught to think for themselves. Is there such a place?

      April 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
    • Reality

      From one Bred, Born and Brainwashed ( The Three B Syndrome) in Catholicism but who was cured by reviewing the written word outside the "bible bun". One result:

      ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS:

      The Apostles' Creed 2011: (updated by yours truly based on the studies of NT historians and theologians of the past 200 years)

      Should I believe in a god whose existence cannot be proven
      and said god if he/she/it exists resides in an unproven,
      human-created, spirit state of bliss called heaven?????

      I believe there was a 1st century CE, Jewish, simple,
      preacher-man who was conceived by a Jewish carpenter
      named Joseph living in Nazareth and born of a young Jewish
      girl named Mary. (Some say he was a mamzer.)

      Jesus was summarily crucified for being a temple rabble-rouser by
      the Roman troops in Jerusalem serving under Pontius Pilate,

      He was buried in an unmarked grave and still lies
      a-mouldering in the ground somewhere outside of
      Jerusalem.

      Said Jesus' story was embellished and "mythicized" by
      many semi-fiction writers. A bodily resurrection and
      ascension stories were promulgated to compete with the
      Caesar myths. Said stories were so popular that they
      grew into a religion known today as Catholicism/Christianity
      and featuring dark-age, daily wine to blood and bread to body rituals
      called the eucharistic sacrifice of the non-atoning Jesus.

      Amen
      (References used are available upon request.)

      April 26, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Chance

      @reality you want religious people to buy into the big bang that we are all here by chance. Then you say our beliefs are instilled in us because where we are born into it. To believe in the big bang i have to accept a multiverse aka the M theory and that there are alternate universes (quantum physics) all of this is theory and no credible evidence. Top scientist say if you don't believe in this the only alternative is God. Secondly you fail to recognize that personal struggles and triumphs mold who we are. You are holding on to so called facts that our bound together by theories that are needing much support that has yet to be found. Your arguments are played out and weak, Science is the reason for many new "analytical" Christians.

      April 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Incidentally, Chance, the Big Bang theory was first proposed by a physicist who was also a Catholic priest. He didn't find the theory to be in conflict with his faith, and neither should anyone else.

      Then you complained that all this big bang, quantam theory, here-by-chance mumbo jumbo is just theories without evidence. Right, they are just theories, in various stages of being proven, wholly or partially, or not at all. So what? There are at least indications that they might be true, based on decades of scientific observation.

      Faith, incidentally, is also just theories without evidence, so apparently you must think faith is also complete rubbish?

      April 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • vic

      your cut and past random theory doe not mean anything. its stating the obvious , if you are born somewhere in europe its highly likely you will be caucasian. same goes if you are born in china, high probability you will l be chinese..
      by the way St augustine was born in Roman Africa hsi father was pagan and mother was christian but he chose chrsitianity.
      .In afganistan you can get killed, istoned to death ,f you convert to christianiy same goes for other muslim countreis and even hindu countires you can deprived of food benefits . so people are not free to choose their reilgion . they forced into it so we will never know wether they believe its true relgion or iit satisifes their emotional or relgious needs.

      April 26, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Reality

      Think infinity and recycling with the Big Bang expansion followed by the shrinking reversal called the Gib Gnab and recycling back to the Big Bang repeating the process on and on forever. Human life and Earth are simply a minute part of this cha-otic, sto-cha-stic, expanding, shrinking process disappearing in five billion years with the burn out of the Sun and maybe returning in another five billion years with different life forms but still subject to the va-ga-ries of its local star.

      What we do know: (from the fields of astrophysics, nuclear physics, geology and the history of religion)

      1. The Sun will burn out in 3-5 billion years so we have a time frame.

      2. Asteroids continue to circle us in the nearby asteroid belt.

      3. One wayward rock and it is all over in a blast of permanent winter.

      4. There are enough nuclear weapons to do the same job.

      5. Most contemporary NT exegetes do not believe in the Second Coming so apparently there is no concern about JC coming back on an asteroid or cloud of raptors/rapture.

      6. All stars will eventually extinguish as there is a limit to the amount of hydrogen in the universe. When this happens (100 trillion years?), the universe will go dark. If it does not collapse and recycle, the universe will end.

      7. Super, dormant volcanoes off the coast of Africa and under Yellowstone Park could explode catalytically at any time ending life on Earth.

      Bottom line: our apocalypse will start between now and 3-5 billion CE. The universe apocalypse, 100 trillion years?

      April 27, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • John Calvin

      Reality, your problem isn't about if God exist or not. Your problrm is a moral one. You dont want to a standord of morals. You want your own.

      May 1, 2012 at 1:59 am |
  8. Nii

    LINCA
    I've told u several times now not to cut up my comments so that u can answer them in context. Bottomline I don't believe atheism or any other religion including Xtianity r best. I follow Christ thats all. However just cos religion is not so high on my agenda doesnt mean I can't respect them.

    April 26, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam

      Seriously? No one's going to adjust how they post to make you happy.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  9. rk

    GOD gave everyone free will, the choice is yours. The Cross will either condemn you or save you. I accepted CHRIST JESUS as my personal Savior in 1984, and i thank HIM for HIS Grace, love, and mercy. CHRIST doesn't shun unbelievers, HE invites them.

    April 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • sam

      Wait, which is it – condemning or inviting?

      April 26, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Might as well get this on record now. I don't accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior.

      I do accept that he was a radical religious teacher of the first century, who seriously annoyed Caiaphas the high priest, and was executed by Pontius Pilate, at the behest of the Sanhedrin.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
  10. fpstudio123

    I love that Osteen encourages viewers to get involved in their local Christian churches. Local churches strengthen individuals, families, and communities.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  11. Steve

    I do not believe in a creator , so yes , a non existant being should have less authority, I did not have to talk my self into being an atheist, I have always been despite outside forces trying to indoctrinate me. The correct statement would be that you have been trained to be a christian , or brainwashed maybe is a better choice. Yes I do hate , and so does everyone who is alive, except I know and admit it. However I hate Religion , a man made system of beliefs that does great great harm to humanity, I do not hate people , for being Gay or for having different beliefs, I only hate the beliefs. I don't wish to abolsih your religion I just think it's sad that we are all oppressed by it. However I am discussing something , that is useless and I just need to stop commenting and wasting time.

    April 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Steve, maybe because it is unsure why you are posting. Your post is not really telling us more than you are not a person of Faith which we have ones here who are and do discuss issues. Where you hoping that someone would challenge and go Westburo on your post?

      April 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • momoya

      Well he sure wasn't looking for some mealy-mouthed, milquetoast reply as yours, Mark.

      April 26, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  12. Steve

    I read so many posts from people in support of religion , and right wing conservitive views, and I see how well you have been taught not only to support your own oppression, but fight for the right to be oppressed. that's some pretty powerful propaganda you have swallowed.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      So, as to you have been taught as well my friend.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Morgan

      You misuse the word oppression. You reserve for yourself the same judgment you would deny to God the sovereign creator. You decide right and wrong, you have people and things you like and dislike, should God have less authority than you? Deism is the default position of man, you have talked yourself into an atheism, and you slander people who believe different.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • vic

      the concept there is No God or athiesm also cannot be proven. what if you died tommorrow and find yourself face to face with your creator..we have wait till we die . so athiesm can also termed as a a left wing commie propaganda.
      ICHurch has incorporated science, but science is small window of reality infact the first vaccine to fight plague and other diseases was by catholic priest lousi Pastuer, infact the whole scientific philosophy of science was postulated Rene Descartes another devout catholic. so if you think christians or catholics are ignormous on science you are sorely mistaken.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • momoya

      @vic

      Atheism is not a positive claim that has evidence or proof.. Atheism merely says that somebody else's claim is not grounded in rational logic..

      April 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Seriously?

      Thou protest too much! To believe in the rational mind as humanity's "salvation" is all well and fine but after thousand of years on the planet man still strives to belief in something bigger than himself. Maybe cause when left to his own devices things will eventually implode. The evidence is in our nature not our minds or beiliefs which under light perusal do not reflect well.

      April 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  13. jabby

    Bizziel Natural science and all of God's creation make sense, as you say. And so does the Gospel of Christ and God's reasons for sending Christ into the world. Do you remember the Six Blind Men from Istanbul? Until we read God's testimony, we can't see His perfect, rational, albeit holy reason for sending Christ to restore mankind to our former glory. Men are not animals but are humans created in the image of God, which honor God gives all humans in Christ.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  14. Steve

    Respect is not something that religion deserves. I do hate religion, so calling someone a hatetheist really does not bother me. I think the people who follow religion are seriously sick , and I don't hate them, only what their religion has done to them and to others who want nothing to do with it. I cannot argue I do hate religion, it's very worth of hate. Believe in God or Jesus no problem , become part of a religous cult forcing it's beliefs on others and enjoy a tax free status and promote bigtory toward anyone with a different view ie Gays , Other Faiths , and mostly Women.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Steve. You hate. At least you are honest about it. The question is of your closing statement. We have Gay and Lesbian churches and even Gay and Lesbian clergy in traditional churches. The Belief Blog has had articles of such. Additionally the Belief Blog has had a few articles of interfaith events between different Faiths, so that would be a challenge to your statements. Also, my denomination has a woman Bishop and other churches have women in the role of clergy and church leaders.

      I will admit that there are churches that do shun Gays and Lesbians , such as Westburo but at the same time you see that often at their protest it is others of Faith who are challenging and counter-protesting. I just believe that you are making “all” statements while it is common knowledge that the examples you gave do not apply to all churches.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:29 am |
  15. S.R.

    "There’s pros and cons of a big church,” .......the pro's are you get to make millions on theater of the mind bull .... and live in a 10.5 million dollar house!!! Religion is a con and always has been. There is a creator but there has never been a human being that has talked to or been instructed directly by god. Wake up smell the coffee and stop believing in fairy tales!!!

    April 26, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • bizziel

      Physics and science make religion obsolete.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:04 am |
    • Victor

      You mean, CULTS are a con.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:05 am |
    • Nii

      SR
      I think it is high time that atheists and non-religious folks learn to respect other people's religion. Respect is not a commodity which you have to take lightly. Yesterday I had to side with a Christian who said most of the atheists here may be called hatheists because of the way they speak about anothers religion. I don't agree with a lot of other Christians on everything their Pastor teaches them or their own interpretation of Bible passages. However a little decorum and maturity helps all involved. Who knows your message valid or not will then recieve due attention.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • LinCA

      @Nii

      You said, "I think it is high time that atheists and non-religious folks learn to respect other people's religion."
      I respect your right to believe. But beliefs aren't, and shouldn't be, afforded the same respect. Beliefs should be questioned. Beliefs should be evaluated. Beliefs should be scrutinized.

      If a belief is valid, it will stand up in the face of scrutiny. If it isn't, it will crumble.

      You said, "Respect is not a commodity which you have to take lightly."
      True. It needs to be earned. Spouting nonsense and believing in fairy tales is no way to earn respect.

      You said, "Yesterday I had to side with a Christian who said most of the atheists here may be called hatheists because of the way they speak about anothers religion."
      You talk about respecting other people's beliefs, yet you side with someone who obviously doesn't even respect other people's right to believe (different from him/herself).

      You said, "However a little decorum and maturity helps all involved."
      Calling atheists "hatheists" is mature?

      You said, "Who knows your message valid or not will then recieve due attention."
      If the message from atheists received "due attention", there wouldn't be nearly as many believers.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  16. Dadster

    As an OFC (Old Fashioned Christian), I learned something about Joel Osteen too. That he has adopted the same family value that the Republican party has. Hypocrisy. When he and his wife were on Piers Morgan, Piers asked him if he could vote for (before any candidate dropped out) a Mormon. His answer wasn't yes or no. It was "99% of the candidates are Christian and I'm sure one will be nominated". Now that a Mormon has been nominated, Joel has done his Pharisee (change the rules to fit ones opinion) impression so that he can endorse Romney. The actions of people like Joel Osteen and Franklin Graham are the reasons that I no longer attend church. My walk with God will always be strong but I refuse to sit in groups where I know hypocrisy is the norm.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:46 am |
    • Steve

      Makes me wonder why you still believe in Christanity where hypocrisy is the norm. the bible is full of hypocrisy in fact it's mostly. I was forced to go to Catholic schools when I was young, and had to read their version of the bible and study it and as early as 3rd grade I could not believe it, I could not pretend to believe. My mother punished me for not being able to believe, but I say the nuns said I had to "really believe" and I could not, to me it was so obviously false and empty. I used to pray that God (that I could not bring myself to believe in) would let me believe, just to stop the torment from those that wanted to make me, my prayers like everyone elses have never been answered. I am much older now , and my mother no longer believes and has apologised for making my childhood a real hell. By Christians I was told to love, from them I was shown hatred, bigotry and intolerance. Still ALL , every last Christian (this means you) talks of love and how great Jesus was , but show nothing but hatred and intolerence toward anyone who does not believe in their awful horrible disgusting cult. These are truly the absolute most heinous people on the planet today, besides maybe some other awful cult. People say that the world is the way it is because we lost our way , and forgot christ. I say we have had these religions for 2000 years and things have only gotten worse, maybe it is religion making things worse. well not maybe , it is .

      April 26, 2012 at 10:14 am |
    • green dream

      Steve It is obvious that you never appreciated amything the bible and God had to offer. I too was brought up in a very religious household. The difference being that I unlike you grasped the concept of God and his will for mankind at an early age. Not because I was forced to believe but because I did believe. I have always felt a deep respect and love for my creator. I was not taught hate or bigotry but was taught to love and respect others. It is the sin that I shun away from not the sinner. You say that people of faith are basically terrible and mean spirited. I tell you to reread some of the posts here. I find that most of the cruel, disresoectful

      April 26, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • green dream

      comments are made by atheists. I guess my point being is that this is a faith blog. If your atheist why do atheist frequent a faith blog! To belittle someone who believes. Does that not make you the same as those you despise? You express the same bigotry you speak against! I have never gone to an athiest blog to put them down for not believing im God. Not once. Why would I? They have a right to their oppinion but so do I.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • momoya

      @green dream

      Atheists have all manner of different reasons for commenting here. You should be grateful as criticism from your opponents will sharpen your side's arguments for god–as iron sharpens iron. You believers don't just enjoy a "free pass" in the market place of ideas.. If they are stupid, and don't hold up to logical, rational debate, then they're not worthy of the respect you show them.. Don't you want to find out if your arguments are sound or not?

      April 26, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  17. Steve

    I find it funny that people try to argue with Christians and other cults about the existance of their particular god. It's a huge waste of time, they call the bible truth , the never have any proof of anything (how can they) it's the same rebuttal, you have to have faith, or Free Will and they only get more silly from there. You are not dealing with someone real opinion, you are arguing with years and years of indoctrination. If children were not forced to believe by their parents and told lies from day one , they would have no idea about god , or care. All religions rely on this indoctrination,because without it , they would not exist in just a few generations. I never talk religion ,with people I meet, and I dont ask because I don't care. I'm nice to anyone who shows me the same respect and if religion never come up , no problem , but when it does and I get some type of zealot or another trying to preach I polietly excuse myself , and write that person off as a lost cause and remember to aviod them in the future. It makes no sense to argue concerning god it only divdes people. Most people I like and get along fine with , until God or Religion becomes the topic, so I just refuse to discuss it.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • mema

      Steve your discussing in now!

      April 26, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  18. Alisha

    Really, I wouldn't take a Pastor's, Priest's, or Cleric's word for it but maybe do some of my own research at http://www.lds.org or http://www.mormon.org

    Everything that the Mormon church teaches is available for free on those sites for anyone to use for any purpose they choose...packaged up in nice lesson plans, easy to present in any setting.

    You could also pray about it to know whether God believes members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) are Christian.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:30 am |
    • bizziel

      Lol praying!? That is hilarious. Praying is a joke. Pray to your non existent deity with all your might. You will get nothing in return.

      April 26, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  19. Morocco

    The man knows very little of the Bible, is not a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, and is more interested in his own gain.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  20. bizziel

    Religion is sooooooo stupid. Look at the dumb fairy tales you full grown adults believe in...its pathetic. Olsten is a con man plain and simple.

    April 26, 2012 at 9:17 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.